Tasmanian Devils are reintroduced into Australia’s mainland

Eleven Tasmanian Devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) from the island state of Tasmania have been reintroduced into the mainland of Australia for the first time in 3,000 years.

The Tasmanian Devil is a marsupial mammal, an animal with a pouch. It once roamed the mainland of Australia and is now listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The Tasmanian Devil lived on the the mainland of Australia for 40,000 years until it died out due to the European introduction of foxes and cats in the 19th century that preyed on many native marsupial mammal species.

The Tasmanian Devil continued to live on the Tasmanian island in southern Australia, but many died over the past 20 years, since 2000, due to the Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), which is a cancer of the face. It is estimated that there are only 25,000 Tasmanian Devils left in Tasmania.

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What is the difference between the Greater Guinea Pig and the Patagonian Mara?

What is the difference between the Greater Guinea Pig (Cavia magna) and the Patagonian Mara (Dolichotis patagonum)?

Both the Greater Guinea Pig and the Patagonian Mara are large, herbivorous, rodent mammals. The Patagonian Mara is also known as the Patagonian Cavy. They are both cavids.

Both the Greater Guinea Pig and the Patagonian Mara have two large front teeth to gnaw plants.

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Plantigrade Locomotion

What is plantigrade locomotion?

Plantigrade locomotion is the way some animals walk with their toes and metatarsals (heels) flat on the ground.

Terrestrial (land) mammals have three ways of walking:

(1) digitigrade (walking on their toes with their heels permanently raised),

(2) unguligrade (walking on the nail of their toes – the hoof – with the heel permanently raised), and 

(3) plantigrade (walking with their toes and heels on the ground).

The leg of a plantigrade mammal includes the bones of the upper leg, called the femur and humerus, and the bones of the lower leg, called the metatarsals and metacarpals. 

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Sheep

The Domestic Sheep (Ovis aries) is a ruminant mammal. It is an artiodactyla – an even-toed ungulate (hoofed mammal). Taxonomists think that the Sheep is descended from wild mouflon. 

The Sheep has either long or short white, black, or brown hair, called wool. It can have wool on its face, but some do not have woolly faces. It has eyes with thin horizontal pupils with an arc of vision of 270-320 degrees (humans have an arc of vision of 120 degrees). It has a medium-to-long tail. 

Depending on the species and breed, some sheep have horns – both male and female; other species do not have horns – neither male nor female. And in other species, only the male has horns.  

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Cat, Cheetah, Leopard, Lion, Tiger Eyes: What’s the difference?

What are the similarities or differences between the eyes of a Cat (Felis catus), Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Lion (Panthera leo), and Tiger (Panthera tigris)?

The Domestic Cat is nocturnal, active at night. The Cheeth and the Lion are diurnal, active during the day. The Leopard and the Tiger are crepuscular, active at dawn and dusk.

The eyes of a nocturnal animal have vertical pupils that look like a black line, called slitted eyes. The eyes of a diurnal or crepuscular animal have round pupils.

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Vervet Monkey – Babies

The Vervet Monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus), from Africa, lives in a hierarchical group. A hierarchy is a system of status or authority, from the leader or leaders to each member of the family order.

Baby Vervet Monkeys play and fight amongst each other. Babies younger than three years old fight for hierarchical positions. Young Vervet Monkeys older than three years old fight more aggressively and for conflict reasons.

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What is the difference between the African Leopard, the North Chinese Leopard, the Persian Leopard and the Snow Leopard?

What is the difference between the African Leopard (Panthera pardus), the Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), the Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) and the Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia)?

The African Leopard, Amur Leopard, Persian Leopard, and Snow Leopard are all solitary, elusive, large felines or wild cats. All of the leopards have pale-green or grey eyes.

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Animal Ears: do big animals have big ears?

Do big animals have big ears and small animals have small ears? No, animal ears are many sizes and shapes.

Most ears have an outer ear (a pinna, a canal, and an eardrum), a middle ear, and an inner ear.

The pinna is the fleshy part that is visible. It is made of cartilage, not bone, so it is soft. It usually also has an ear lobe. The pinna directs sound through the canal to the eardrum.

The pinna has a muscle that moves the ear. For example, elephants and dogs can move their ears. Animals move their ears in the direction of a sound so that they can hear better.

Not all animals can move their ears because they have weak and non-functioning ear muscles. Animals that cannot move their ears include gorillas and monkeys. Humans cannot move their ears (without touching them).

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Ruminant

What is a ruminant?

To ruminate means to chew something over and over again.

Many mammals, such as humans, cannot eat grass and plants, but herbivorous animals can eat grass.

A ruminant is also a herbivore–a herbivorous animal. A ruminant is a hoofed mammal that feeds on plants. A ruminant has a special four-chambered stomach that can digest and ferment plant-based food.

A ruminant uses its teeth to grind their plant food into balls, which are stored in the stomach and can be regurgitated later. Re-chewing is also called regurgitation. A ruminant re-chews its food ball, which is also called the bolus, or cud.

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